Some Russians (adult male and female) coming over to a friends house for Thanksgiving dinner. I am also invited and she has asked me what they might like to drink and to procure said alcohol. I have no clue. I don’t want to get some non-Russian vodka they would disdain, but I have no idea what constitutes “good drinking” for Russians. Any ideas?
First off, any decent Vodka should do. It’s a common drink in Russia. However, actual Russian vodkas are often pretty rough, or so I hear. A lot fo the best vodka comes from Poland. Howeverm, Grey Goose and Stolichnaya are easily avilable (Stol is Russian, Goose is French). Smirnoff is nothing amazing, buit it is a fine vodka at a good price.
Second, I would only do this if you really want to. It is a very big and very American feast and they might well prefer an American drink to go with it, or a nice red wine. I’m not going to try and guess what somebody neither of us knows would like.
Third: don’t jump to any conclusions. There’s nothing wrong with simply telling your host to ask them what they might like, although it might be too late. The lady might prefer something different, and it’s not like everyone in Russia automatically likes vodka, either.
Do Russians generally like their vodka chilled or room temp?
Moldovian wines - red and very sweet. (shiver)
Vodka - Already covered sufficiently by Smiling Bandit
Cognac - Not as common as vodka in the holiday meals I’ve had in Russia but certainly not out of the norm either in my experience.
… Y’know, I have no idea…
Apparently, many budget brands of American vodka are actually rated as higer quality/better tasting than several of the premium Russian imported vodkas. (Stoli is famous for being mediocre vodka with an excellent marketing department)
The very first thread I ever started was about various vodkas and their qualities, and someone posted that they had a group of Russian ex-pat friends who swore by Smirnoff, which is a low-to-midrange US brand…
I’m form an Armenian family. We keep our vodka in the freezer. But some people will drink them at room temp. They usually take shots so it doesn’t matter much.
I don’t know anything about Russians, but imho, if you were visiting somebody in another country, would you want to drink the same old stuff you can get back home, or the local specialties?
If an American goes to another country, and insists on burgers, what’s the point of even traveling?
Imho, I’d go with 1 bottle of a Russian brand vodka like Stolichana (just so that you can say you were following directions,) but then a nice selection of whatever drinks are good in your area. As an American, I would probably get some Grey Goose, Johnny Walker, or even premium American beer (Michelob Dark or something,) and a local favorite around here is lychee-flavored Kai vodka.
Russian guy here. I managed a liquor store for five years and had lots of dinners with my Russian family and their Russian friends.
Russians generally like clear vodka. There is a good consensus against flavored vodka. Do not buy anything flavored. I would recommend Russian Standard as the best vodka for a decent price (around $20 for 750ml).
No one likes warm vodka. Keep it chilled if possible.
We like cognac. It’s not bought in Russia because it is too expensive and when it is bought Russians usually drink the cheap Moldovan brandy. American Russians who have money usually drink real cognac. I like either Remy Martin 1738 or Pasquinet myself. But any popular cognac like Hennessy will do.
A lot of Russians like the sweet Moldovan wines. This is tricky because if you get people who like dry wines they will hate the sweet stuff. If it’s important for you to get your guest wine then buy one bottle of moscato white Italian wine (it’s cheap, it goes for $10 a bottle and it’s usually chilled). Every liquor story should have one. Put that on the table with whatever you think the Americans will drink.
If I wanted a fool proof liquor table for Russian guests I would get one bottle of chilled Russian Vodka, a bottle of chilled moscato white wine and a bottle of some decent cognac. I would ditch the cognac if I had to ditch something because of my budget.
I don’t want to make a big generalization but Russians would want to drink the same old stuff they can get at home. Or a better quality version of the same old stuff they get at home.
It’s a bit frustrating but it is what it is.
Please do not purchase either Johnnie Walker or Michelob Dark with the intent of impressing a non-American. They are both sub-par examples of American craft distilling and brewing, and Michelob in particular is one reason why foreigners have a generally poor opinion of American beer.
never mind that johnnie walker is scottish. 'merica got drunk off the back of jack daniels. i say the holiday drink of choice is obviously egg nog.
it’s so hard to buy a specific liquor for a party. everybody has their drink of choice. even if they’re russian doesn’t mean all they care to drink is vodka. americans love their bourbon (stereotypically) but i know way more people that order G&T’s than Jack n cokes, or even rum n cokes. RUM. that’s a liquor they probably encounter very little of in Russia… why not just make a nice punch bowl? unless you’re anticipating lots of shot taking (not that there’s anything wrong with that) most of the holiday parties that i’ve had experiences with either boozes with a stocked bar, table wine, or off punch/egg nog.
don’t forget to add vodka to the turkey. i understand it makes a nice marinade and can be injected into the bird as well.
Gee, if they are coming to a traditional American Turkey Day dinner, oughtn’t you to serve just the usual stuff?
I would offer them some Wild Turkey in honor of the holiday.
Michelob Dark is emphatically NOT a premium American beer. There are hundreds of far better American craft beers available. But this thread is about hard liquor…
When I travel, I don’t want to be served the same food and drink that I get back home. I want the local stuff. I understand why you might want to serve them Russian vodka to make them feel at home (and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a bottle of decent vodka on hand), but they just might prefer to try some stuff we drink in the U.S. that’s uncommon or unheard-of back there. Maybe a good tequila, rum, or bourbon?
That was exactly my experience with a few acquaintances at a party. They had thick Russian accents, and were not afraid to imbibe freely. When I asked them what their vodka of choice was (there were several types at the party) they said Smirnoff.
As far as the OP is concerned, finding a good vodka would almost certainly be a good first step, but perhaps have a few other options so as not to pigeon hole their taste. Unless I’m mistaken, anyone and everyone who likes Gin really likes Bombay Sapphire, I know I do.
I don’t have anything to add. I just wanted to say that I’m typing this right in Russia!! (St. Petersburg). Just here for a week.